I’m not sure, but I may have just created the term ‘Cabinet Door Gallery’?? I did for sure create one in real life though! Here’s why I came up with the idea in the first place with a few simple tips for creating your own cabinet door gallery.
We have spent the past couple years renovating our home. It was built in the 1970’s, a little late for the charming ‘MCM’ personality so frequently associated with a mid-century house. Instead this house we bought a few years ago, was pretty basic, (in other words ‘boring’!). The house situated on a knoll overlooking a couple of ponds is what grabbed our attention. Great location, with a boring house… perfect for me. I am always more intrigued to have a project to wield my creative ideas to than just build from scratch. We took down a few walls, raised the floor and added a bit of charm to each room with an overall goal to have our new home speak a style of vintage Colonial Revival Cottage.
To open up the main floor is a mixed bag… wonderful to have a more open floorplan, but difficult for my style of decorating… I am NOT one to embrace a minimalist style of decorating! Ha! Far from it! I love and fully embrace accessories and patterns in my cozy home. The lack of walls in an open floorplan brings in a challenge for my ‘accessorizing’ style.
That’s where my idea of creating a cabinet door gallery came into play. I am now the keeper of our family treasured Currier and Ives framed prints that once hung in my grandmother’s home. They’re not valuable, in the monetary sense, they’re still treasured all the same. Grandma passed them down to my parents. I have fond memories as a little girl with them hanging on our living room wall in the farmhouse I grew up in. Now they’re in my possession, but I have such little wall space, I was having a problem finding a place to display them.
Here’s a ‘before’ of the once dining room, turned office space:
This room was originally built as a dining room, but we moved the dining room to a new spot so changed this into the office. The built in cabinets on one entire wall were comprised of heavy sliding glass doors and display shelves on the top with wooden drawers and doors on the bottom. Great for a dining room with lots of glassware display. But not so much for an office that needed storage for books and office supplies. I just didn’t want all that glass in the room showing my messes behind it.
After removing the glass shelving and doors, my carpenter built a basic wood frame and shelves in the space. I then ordered doors from a company online. The new wooden doors were very reasonably priced.
Once installed, I primed and painted the built-in cabinet a super dark gray and added some fun mercury glass knobs.
That’s how the cabinets looked for several months until…
As I was perusing my house searching for a place to hang my 6 framed Currier and Ives prints, I noticed that I had 6 doors on this wall of cabinets. The wood built-in cabinets were a huge improvement for our office needs from the prior glass display, but these new wooden doors were maybe a bit boring as well.
Considering hanging the prints on the cabinet doors, I didn’t want to just ‘hang’ them on the doors due to the frequency of the doors being opened and closed, I was concerned it would lead to the pictures banging and sliding around. No, whatever hanging method I came up with would need to hold them securely on the doors.
I removed the hanging hardware on the back of the frames.
Next, I tried the 3M hanging strips I so successfully used in the kid’s bedroom with the vintage ‘Under the Sea’ prints. (HERE you can read about that tip) Unfortunately, the 3M strips wouldn’t cling to this cabinet satin finish paint securely.
Searching hardware options online, I found these ‘offset clips’:
Here’s a tip…
Offset clips are available in several different sizes. I carefully measured the frames my grandmother originally put on the Currier and Ives prints for the right size.
The clips needed to hold the frame snug, so having the right size was important.
After measuring, re-measuring and measuring once again, I finally figured out where the top and bottom of the frame would be located for the print to be centered on the cabinet door.
Though the clips do have holes in the front where I could have screwed into the face of the frame to secure it, for pretty obvious reasons, I didn’t want to put holes in the old frames. Instead I opted to mount side clips to secure each frame to the door.
I mounted the top and bottom clips loosely on the door to hold the frame in place while I mounted the side clips.
Once all the prints were up and installed, I was really pleased with the cabinet door gallery look of it.
However, I didn’t like that I noticed the offset clip hardware a little too much. Wanting it to just blend in a bit more, I decided to give the hardware a quick coat of paint.
To be sure the paint adhered to the shiny silver hardware, I used Stix bonding primer first. (HERE is a shopping link for this fantastic primer) Following the primer, a couple light coats of the dark grey cabinet color brushed on the clips was simple.
Just enough to take the attention off the hardware.
I’m so happy that this set of Currier and Ives prints with our special family memories are back up on display.
And thrilled to make it happen by creating a cabinet door gallery.
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Here are some more simple tips